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Saint Theresa, Little Flower of Jesus

 

Therese Martin was the last of nine children
born to Louis and Zelie Martin
on January 2, 1873, in Alencon France.
However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood.
Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention.
Her mother died when she was 4 years old.
As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese.
She had a spirit that wanted everything.

At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion
that transformed her life.
From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit

were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy.
At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux
to give her whole life to God.
She took the religious name
Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.
Living a hidden, simple life of prayer,
she was gifted with great intimacy with God.

Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear,
she remained faithful to God, rooted in his merciful love.
After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897,
at the age of 24.
Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!"

 

The world came to know Therese
through her autobiography, Story of a Soul.

She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood."
She lived each day with an unshakeable confidence in God's love.
"What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love."
She lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything
well and with love. She believed that just as a child
becomes enamored with what is before her,
we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love.
Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

 She loved flowers and saw herself as the "little flower of Jesus,"
who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self
among all the other flowers in God's garden.


Actual photograph of The Little Flower

Because of this beautiful analogy,

the title "little flower" remained with St. Therese.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven
touched many people very quickly.
She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925.


"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said.
"I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.
I will let fall a shower of roses."
Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese's signature.

Countless millions have been touched by her intercession
and imitate her "little way."
She has been acclaimed "the greatest saint of modern times."
In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church 
in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality
has influenced people all over the world.

 

Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin

On October 19, 2008, the parents of Saint Theresa,
were beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.
They were beatified in recognition of the virtue and holiness displayed,
by the grace of Christ, in their own life.
Two months before her death, Saint Thérèse wrote to the Abbé Bellière:
"God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth;
they asked the Lord to give them many children
and to let them all be consecrated to Him." (July 26th, 1897). 

 

 

Saint Theresa, the Little Flower,

please pick for me

a rose from the Heavenly Garden

and send it to me with a message of Love.

Ask God to grant me

the favor I thee implore

and tell Him I will love Him

each day more and more.

 

Follow by 3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys and 3 Glory Be

 

Prayer to The Little Flower

O marvelous Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, who,
in thy brief mortal career, didst become a mirror
of angelic purity, of darling love and of
whole-hearted surrender to Almighty God,
now that thou art enjoying the recompense of thy virtues,
turn thine eyes of mercy upon us who trust in thee.
Obtain for us the grace to keep our hearts and minds
pure and clean like unto thne,
and to abhor in all sincerity whatever might tarnish
ever so slightly the luster of a virtue so sublime,
a virtue that endears us to thy heavenly Bridegroom.
Ah, dear Saint, grant us to feel in every need
the power of thy intercession;
give us comfort in all bitterness of this life
and especially at its bitter end,
that we may be worthy to share eternal happiness
with thee in paradise. Amen.
V. Pray for us, O blessed Theresa
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray

O Lord Who hast said:
"Unless you become as little children,
you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven",
grant us, we beseech Thee,
so to walk in the footsteps
of thy blessed Virgin Theresa
with a humble and single heart,
that we may attain to everlasting rewards:
Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus,
Patroness of the Missions, pray for us!